The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada plans to begin construction this year on its $250-million Maryland Parkway Bus Rapid Transit project in Las Vegas, RTC officials announced May 28. The transit agency says the improvements are needed to provide better accessibility, safety and comfort for people who travel through the corridor, which accommodates about 35,000 vehicles and 9,000 transit riders daily.

Plans by GCW Engineering Inc., Las Vegas, call for a 12.5-mile parkway corridor between the South Strip Transit Terminal and the Las Vegas Medical District. 

Maryland_Parkway_BRT_map.jpgMap courtesy Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

Maryland Parkway currently has three lanes in each direction plus a center left-turn lane. The project would reconfigure the road to have a shared bus and bicycle lane on the outside in both directions, and replace portions of the center lane with a median.

RTC also plans to build 42 transit shelters and platforms, widen sidewalks, upgrade pedestrian crossings and replace signals. 

Construction will be phased, toward completion in 2026. Officials recently awarded a $129.8-million contract to Las Vegas Paving Corp. for construction of the portion of the project within Las Vegas. Another contract covering work in Clark County is scheduled to be awarded in July.

The improvements would include priority signals for buses, which would allow service to run along the corridor 24/7, coming as frequently as every 12 minutes during the daytime Monday through Saturday, and every 15-30 minutes at night, according to Federal Transit Administration (FTA) records. There are 25 transit connections along the route. 

The work also is expected to have other benefits, such as providing new opportunities for economic development in the area and creating “a stronger sense of identity for Maryland Parkway,” M.J. Maynard, CEO of RTC, said in a statement.

“And at the same time, the use of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses throughout the corridor will provide a faster, environmentally friendly transportation option,” she said. 

The FTA is helping fund the work with a $149.9-million grant it awarded to RTC in April. In a statement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted the “cleaner, better, faster commute” the project is expected to help deliver for 63,000 residents and the more than 100,000 people who work in the area.